Fayyad warns Obama: ‘A state of leftovers is not going to do it’

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen is a liberal Zionist who is worried about the end of the two-state solution. His Palestinian horse was always Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, but Fayyad quit nearly a month ago and Cohen has now gone out to interview him. An excellent piece of reporting about what the occupation has done to the idea of two states.

Here is Fayyad complaining of American failure to confront Israel:

Then there was the “biggest problem” — the Israeli occupation, never relaxed despite a transformed security situation; in fact intensified through settlement expansion, demolitions, evictions and military incursions even into areas nominally under Palestinian control… 

“I told President Obama the shack must come before the skyscraper,” Fayyad tells me. “The Israelis have not rolled back the occupation gene. Let’s make sure our Bedouin population in the Jordan Valley has access to drinking water before we discuss final arrangements. This is a right-to-life issue for Palestinians.”

He thinks the United States, now trying to conjure direct negotiations through osmosis rather than any new ideas, should ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a straightforward question: What do you mean by a Palestinian state?

From Netanyahu’s few indications, such a state would not include the major Israeli settlement blocs, or have control over the strategic Jordan Valley (some 25 percent of the West Bank). All of greater Jerusalem would remain Israeli. Palestine would be demilitarized.

“A state of leftovers is not going to do it,” Fayyad declares.

Sensibly, Cohen says that the U.S. must recognize a unity government that includes Hamas. He picks up a point that Henry Siegman has long made:

Of course, a unity government — even one that has formally renounced violence — would pose a severe diplomatic dilemma. Hamas is committed in its doctrine to Israel’s destruction. On balance, it is in the American interest to foster Palestinian unity, provided it is on the basis of the renunciation of violence. There are, after all, members of the Israeli government committed to Palestine’s nonexistence. One does not choose one’s interlocutor in peace talks

Right, what’s the difference? Then Cohen lectures the Palestinians about getting their act together:

Palestinians have reached their “Altalena” moment. After the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948, the extremist Irgun Jewish militant group resisted being folded into the Israel Defense Forces and insisted on receiving weapons being shipped from Marseille aboard the Altalena. A pitched battle ensued; several were killed. Ben Gurion declared: “There cannot be two armies and there cannot be two states.”

The analogy fails. In 1948, Zionism had won most of what its adherents set out to win; Israelis had seized control over 78 percent of the territory, and done so by employing terrorism; the remaining portion of the land the militants sought would become Israel’s 19 years later. But Palestinians have no state, no victory. They are occupied; and the people will not abandon the notion of violent resistance so long as there is a military occupation. Many Americans wouldn’t, either.

I believe that Cohen is hanging on to Israel and the two-state solution not because of his avowedly-realist approach, but because he’s a liberal Zionist. He has a core belief in the need for a Jewish state. That’s the part I don’t get about all these Diaspora Zionists. Like me, Cohen is very privileged. He’s smart, and he’s worldly: he has lived on two continents, his father came from a third continent (Africa) and his wife from a fourth (South America). He evidently feels safe in the west; that’s where he’s made his highly successful life. Zionism was premised on the idea that Jews are unsafe in the west. Everything about Cohen’s experience says there are termites in that premise. If he could save one Palestinian child’s life by giving up the dream-state he chooses not to live in, why not wake up? 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 72 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. yourstruly says:

    shattered dream

    that’s what happens
    when a land is stolen
    cleansed of its natives
    so that another people might have a home
    yet never asking them
    if we open the gates
    will you come?
    and if you do
    will you stay?
    and even if you do stay
    will the world forever stand by?

  2. W.Jones says:

    You make an excellent point at the end of your article.

    Phil, every day I hear positive references and no negative ones. On Thursday a business lady talked repeatedly about her work with Jewish businesspeople, the next day a legislator made random favorably references to rabbis walking “arm and arm”, showing solidarity in his city. Then this morning the radio has a program talking about Isaac and Cohen, land surveyors who worked with Daniel Boone.

    I am trying hard to think of negative references… I even went to a Palestinian cultural event last night and an American told me she wanted to learn Hebrew, and that Palestinian dances remind her of Israeli ones…

    • Dutch says:

      … and that Palestinian dances remind her of Israeli ones …

      This is too crazy, W! Unless it was The Last Dance, of course.

      • W.Jones says:

        You can see similarities between Arab and Jewish culture at a wedding like this. The Jewish national dance, the Horah, and the Palestinian national dance, the Debka, look exactly alike … a frenzied combination of a conga line and the hokey-pokey.
        ~ Ray Hanania, Growing up Arab in America

        Don’t ask me to explain. ;)

  3. American says:

    ”I believe that Cohen is hanging on to Israel and the two-state solution not because of his avowedly-realist approach, but because he’s a liberal Zionist. He has a core belief in the need for a Jewish state.”

    That is the imbecilic delusion or at least the imbecilic excuse of the cult isn’t it?…..the ‘need’ for a Jewish State.
    Triple, tripe, triple delusional for US zionist sitting safe in the US.

  4. thanks phil, great review. you nailed it calling him on that analogy.

  5. Bravo, Fayyad. A “state of leftovers is not going to do it”.
    Insatiable greed of illegal settlers threatens the peace of the Middle East.

  6. RE: “A state of leftovers is not going to do it,” Fayyad declares.

    AMERICAN RESPONSE: “Shut up and eat your gruel! ! !”

  7. MRW says:

    Great lines:

    Everything about Cohen’s experience says there are termites in that premise. If he could save one Palestinian child’s life by giving up the dream-state he chooses not to live in, why not wake up?

  8. jon s says:

    Phil seems to have misunderstood the Altalena analogy: the point is that the mainstream leadership (Ben Gurion at the time) was willing to take on the minority radical extremists ( the IZL and LHY) , was willing to use force to supress them , even at the risk of civil war . The analogy being that the mainstream Palestinian leadership should impose it’s authority on the radicals. The present Palestinian disunity is one of the factors preventing progress towards peace.
    Incidentally, the Altalena incident occured in June 1948 , before Israel had “won”. Ben Gurion realized that barely a month after independence was declared, and with the existence of the state hanging by a thread, Israel couldn’t afford a lack of unity, with various militias operating on their own.
    And one more point: it’s true that ” Zionism was premised on the idea that Jews are unsafe in the west”, and , tragically, events of the 20th century proved that those fears were not unfounded. But at the present you can’t reduce the need for a Jewish state to that one premise.

    • . Ben Gurion realized that barely a month after independence was declared, and with the existence of the state hanging by a thread, Israel couldn’t afford a lack of unity, with various militias operating on their own.

      i think phil understands perfectly well. . a month after palestinian independence is declared, and with the a palestinian sovereign state in existence ( hanging by a thread or otherwise), get back to us about an analogy about palestinian militias operating on their own, or not.

      we’re perfectly aware of the efforts zionists have made to create fitna between palestinian factions. mubarak was a very efficient partner in this occupation endeavor. there’s never been any attempt by israel to create unity between the factions. hamas won the election, israel jailed their legislators. remember.

    • valency says:

      But Ben Gurion was not willing to suppress the IZL. He was willing to use force to keep the IZL in line and force it to accept discipline under the Haganah umbrella. On condition it would obey orders, it was allowed to stay in the field to do what it did best; it was a most valuable asset in terror and ethnic cleansing operations like Deir Yassin.

      • jon s says:

        Firing on, and sinking , the Altalena, at the cost of 20 lives (16 IZL, 4 IDF), ordering the dissolution of the IZL and LHY – looks like suppression to me.

        • tree says:

          “…ordering the dissolution of the IZL and LHY-looks like suppression to me.”

          He ordered their dissolution but melded its members into the IDF. And the IDF committed some of its worst massacres and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians AFTER the Altalena incident. Ben-Gurion wanted full command over his forces while they attacked Palestinian civilians and drove them out of the newly declared and expanding Jewish State. It wasn’t “progress towards peace”; it was the aglomeration of various Jewish fighting forces under one command at a time when Israel clearly had the upper hand in its move to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its non-Jews.

        • Cliff says:

          jon s is pathetically attempting to whitewash the history of Jewish terrorism during the Mandate and failing miserably.

    • ritzl says:

      This highlights yet another double standard between what the Jews did in ’48 vs. what the Palestinians, specifically Hamas, does now. Hamas violently, and I’d say ruthlessly, reined in the outlier rocket launching groups during the pre-Cast Lead truce, post Cast Lead, and pre- and post-Pillar of whatever. They were condemned for it by, in my discussions, lib-zios as proof of their intrinsic violence. When DBG did it, it was/is hailed as a laudable unifying step in the pursuit of a greater goal.

      Same procedure. Which is it, condemnable nature or pragmatic necessity?

      No matter what the Palestinians do, they get hit from all sides. It’s brilliant Israeli/Zionist strategy, but it’s also a clear indication of raw bad faith.

    • kalithea says:

      Has Israel imposed its authority on all its own RADICALS? NO.

      Only after the terrorists did the dirty work; did Gurion try to reign in the Zionist “militant” group under the family umbrella…how convenient!

      The need for a JEWISH state based on ethnic cleansing driven by terrorist acts, the oppression of millions, LAND THEFT and the suppression of the rights of millions of Palestinians. That’s some insatiable need Zionists who live comfortable lives in the West have!

    • Donald says:

      The PA already violates the rights of Palestinians under its control for the sake of Israel. I agree that the Palestinians should not use terrorist tactics for various reasons, both moral and pragmatic, but it’s just disingenuous to pretend that the PA hasn’t been cooperative with the Israelis on this–in fact, they go too far and suppress legitimate dissent. You almost never hear anyone in the West complain about that with the exception of some hypocrites on the Israeli side who want the PA to act as their police and then criticize them for doing what they want them to be doing. Ritzl made this point regarding Hamas— it also applies to the PA. Even the civil war between the PA and Hamas was the result of a US/Israeli effort to derail the results of an election that Hamas won, and then Hamas was blamed for instigating the war that the US wanted. (The US didn’t want Hamas to win, that’s all.)

      As for Ben Gurion, Ben Gurion himself was an ethnic cleanser. (Now I’m echoing a point made by Valency). There’s not a whole lot of daylight between the Israeli “left” and the Israeli right on this point.

    • eljay says:

      >> And one more point: it’s true that “Zionism was premised on the idea that Jews are unsafe in the west”, and , tragically, events of the 20th century proved that those fears were not unfounded.

      The events of the 20th century proved that a lot of people were unsafe in the West. The solution to injustice is justice and accountability, not the creation of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state for one group of people.

      >> But at the present you can’t reduce the need for a Jewish state to that one premise.

      There was no – and there is no – “need for a Jewish state”; there is only a desire for one.

    • Patrick says:

      “The analogy being that the mainstream Palestinian leadership should impose it’s authority on the radicals.”

      And how do you know who represents the mainstream of Palestinians? The last time there was an election in 2006, Hamas won. And the day after, Israel, the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority started an armed struggle to overturn the results of the election.

  9. fayyad’s office is now denying he gave cohen an interview.

    “Fayyad denies criticizing PA in New York Times interview”

    link to haaretz.com

    Salam Fayyad has denied criticizing the Palestinian Authority leadership in an interview with the New York Times.

    In a statement published on Saturday by the Palestinian Wafa news agency, the prime minister’s office said that Fayyad “did not make any statements or conduct any interviews for the New York Times or any other newspaper or agency since his resignation.”

    • ritzl says:

      Weird. What do you make of that?

      • hm, well i don’t think cohen is blatantly lying wrt haven communicated w/him. however, perhaps it wasn’t a formal interview. w/out reviewing the text, i noticed cohen did a lot of paraphrasing during the article. perhaps fayyad wasn’t pleased w/the paraphrasing.

        cecilie surasky said some brilliant things during the plenary speech at a recent jvp meeting. she said, citing anais nin ‘we don’t see the world the way it is we see the world the way we are..’ so it’s possible cohen read into his conversation w/ fayyad, the part’s he paraphrased, his own interpretation.

        • ritzl says:

          Yeah, it’s hard to grasp what was actually said or ultimately paraphrased, and to who’s liking, as you say. It’s just so odd that Fayyad would seemingly go on record with a known entity, Cohen, and then immediately retract. Fayyad had to know to whom he was talking and the context of the use of his opinions.

          Thanks Annie. Your info range is so much larger than mine, I thought you might have seen something “pop up” wrt the immediate retraction.

          It’s still weird. :)

        • ritzl, it’s all in the way i read the news. for example:

          Fatah, the major political movement in the West Bank, is a revolutionary party that has exhausted itself; ossified and murky, lacking a popular mandate or a strategy to deliver statehood, headed by a 78-year-old man, Abbas, who did not have the courage to embrace the political program of an outsider, Fayyad, even though that program delivered growth, accountability and security.

          those are not fayyad’s words, they are cohen’s. but sandwiched between fayyad’s quotes, the reader may not realize that. and abbas may very well not have ‘not had the courage to embrace the political program of an outsider, Fayyad’, he may have just placed a priority on reconciliation and unity with hamas, who categorically said they didn’t want fayyad in any unity gov. besides, fayyad never had a mandate from the people, he was appointed.

          and it prefaced this (mybold)

          “This party, Fatah, is going to break down, there is so much disenchantment,” Fayyad predicts. “Students have lost 35 days this year through strikes. We are broke. The status quo is not sustainable.” He looks at me with a fierce conviction: “In the end it did not matter what any foreign power told me about things changing for the better because I am living it. I have gone through hell before. But it’s enough. This much poison is bound to cause something catastrophic. The system is not taking, the country is suffering. They are not going to change their ways and therefore I must go.”

          who is the “they” fayyad references? the foreign power or fatah? check this out (my different framing, cohen’s same words):

          Fayyad predicts Fatah is going to break down, “there is so much disenchantment; students have lost 35 days this year through strikes. We are broke.”

          “The status quo is not sustainable. In the end it did not matter what any foreign power told me about things changing for the better because I am living it. I have gone through hell before. But it’s enough. This much poison is bound to cause something catastrophic. The system is not taking, the country is suffering. They are not going to change their ways and therefore I must go.”

          same words. different connotations. when he says “This much poison”. where is the poison coming from? foreign power told him things were changing for the better but he’s living it, they are not changing. the people do not believe it and he does not believe it. fatah will break down under these circumstances and he can’t save it..too much poison conditions?

          he’s been selling the people a bill of goods, backed by the USA. and they have not delivered. hamas doesn’t want a marriage with the US is in bed between them. and there’s nothing anyone can do about that. so you’ve got the people (if not the majority of people whose party (hamas) won the last election, still a huge part of palestinian people) saying ‘get the US out of our bed’. and what choice does abbas have? he’s informed fayyad he’s not going to be appointing him or supporting him against the will of the people. too much poison has come with acquiescing.

          so then, only after cohen’s original version does he tell us this:

          Then there was the “biggest problem” — the Israeli occupation, never relaxed despite a transformed security situation; in fact intensified through settlement expansion, demolitions, evictions and military incursions even into areas nominally under Palestinian control.

          if you read the article again, what if it had been framed differently? like this (same words, quotes restructured):

          The “biggest problem” — the Israeli occupation, never relaxed despite a transformed security situation; in fact intensified through settlement expansion, demolitions, evictions and military incursions even into areas nominally under Palestinian control. “This party, Fatah, is going to break down, there is so much disenchantment.”

          Fayyad predicts “The status quo is not sustainable. In the end it did not matter what any foreign power told me about things changing for the better because I am living it. I have gone through hell before. But it’s enough. This much poison is bound to cause something catastrophic. The system is not taking, the country is suffering. They are not going to change their ways and therefore I must go.”

          see, same words exactly. different meaning.

        • also, wrt ” Fayyad “did not make any statements or conduct any interviews for the New York Times or any other newspaper or agency since his resignation.”

          that just means he (allegedly)wasn’t making a formal interview w/the nyt. he probably met w/cohen in a ‘non official’ capacity. personally, i would like to read a transcript of their meeting.

  10. kalithea says:

    Personally, I don’t give a rat’s ass what Fayyad has to say because he helped to build the structure of permanent occupation. He’s what I call Col. Nicholson (Bridge over the River Kwai); building for the Occupier, the Oppressor, the Enemy. He was the Occupation’s subcontractor; Israel’s subcontractor; Zionism’s subcontractor.

    And what’s the result of his “great” endeavor: more land for Israel; no rights for Palestinians.

    At the 2010 Herzliya conference here’s what E.Barak said: “The settlers are also saying that the security situation is better than ever, and that is thanks to the work of both sides.” He was undoubtedly referring to Fayyad who also spoke there and his great contributions to the Zionist cause. Sooo the goal is to ensure the settlers are happy! So the settlers who are in violation of the Geneva Convention should be satisfied with the efforts of Palestinian “leadership”?

    Oh yeah, and Fayyad predicted a Palestinian state by 2011 at that conference!

    So, here’s what Fayyad did: he did everything in his power to please his Zionist masters and got Zeeeeeeeero in return for Palestinians. In my book that’s called: COLLABORATION with the enemy.

    Fayyad shouldn’t have had the opportunity to quit; he should have been booted out along with his side-kick Abbas a long time ago! The PA is what helps to sustain the occupation! If they had any sense, they’d all resign and hand governance over to the APARTHEID STATE, so that the entire world could finally see what Zionism is really about.

    If Israelis couldn’t hand these two a Palestinian state; then you can be sure they’re doing everything in their power to prevent a Palestinian state from ever happening.

    Oh and Liberal Zionists represent the snowjob; making Palestinian collaborators believe that the pipe dream is alive and possible if they’ll just keep on COLLABORATING and working on behalf of Zionism.

  11. NickJOCW says:

    I would suggest that things are changing; the price Zionists, extreme or liberal, will eventually pay for the loss of their dream grows comparatively greater. Remember the story of the Sibylline books, how the priestess offered all nine to Tarquin for a sum he rejected as too great, so she burned three and offered him the remaining six for the same amount, and again he turned her away, so she burned three more and proffered the last three for the very same price. Then he agreed.

    • NickJOCW says:

      At a more immediate level, the tide is running in favour of the Zionist dream. This has little if anything to do with Zionism but vividly illustrates the importance of Israel to the US which even now has it intervening in an overwhelming powerful manner in the affairs of neighbouring Syria under the dubious pretext of destroying arms shipments from Hezbollah. While the US needs and is using Israel for such purposes, is it conceivable that Obama would start criticising Zionist settlement expansion or the actions of its virtually renegade police. The Palestinians are, alas, the ongoing victims of realpolitik.

      • Sumud says:

        This has little if anything to do with Zionism but vividly illustrates the importance of Israel to the US which even now has it intervening in an overwhelming powerful manner in the affairs of neighbouring Syria under the dubious pretext of destroying arms shipments from Hezbollah. While the US needs and is using Israel for such purposes…

        You write as if Israel has no stake or interest in what happens in Syria. I’m sure if Israel didn’t want to bomb Syria, they wouldn’t.

      • illustrates the importance of Israel to the US which even now has it intervening in an overwhelming powerful manner in the affairs of neighbouring Syria under the dubious pretext

        source? when you say which even now has it intervening you’re implying israel attacked at the behest of the US. obama made the statement israel could defend itself. do we have it flipped around? israel is defending the US? i’d love to read your sources nick.

        • libra says:

          annie: i’d love to read your sources nick.

          I imagine it was Keith.

          The empire gets a lot of benefit out of Israel being blamed for Middle East aggressions which benefit empire. Not Palestine, of course, but Lebanon and Syria for sure.

        • you mean this from keith:

          A militaristic Israel provides benefits for American Zionists as well. A quote from Norman Finkelstein, a former Mondo hero now excommunicated.

          “For Israel’s new American Jewish ‘supporter,’ however, such talk bordered on heresy: an independent Israel at peace with its neighbors was worthless; an Israel aligned with currents in the Arab world seeking independence from the United States was a disaster. Only an Israeli Sparta beholden to American power would do, because only then could US Jewish leaders act as spokesmen for American imperial ambitions.” (Norman Finkelstein)

          yeah, the books available. only problem is keith cut off the beginning and end of the quote, slashing the context.

          link to books.google.com

          norm goes on to write

          “chomsky has suggested these “supporters of Israel” should more properly be called “supporters of the moral degeneration and the ultimate destruction of Israel”

          this is not an argument israel acts at the behest of the US, it’s an argument it could, or should. i’m not arguing here the US was adverse to this action. but thus far i am not seeing any evidence this was not israel’s action, at israel’s will, and the US went along with it. i just want to see the evidence if there’s any source. otherwise can we just assume israel wants to be seen as the benevolent little brother saving the day for everyone, at it’s own expense? i’d like someone to cough up the goods if they’re going to assert israel was acting at the behest of the US.

          there’s just as much evidence here the US was throwing a bone at israel to get them to stop breathing down the US neck to bomb iran.

        • Keith says:

          ANNIE- “…only problem is keith cut off the beginning and end of the quote, slashing the context.”

          What is this? Bait and switch? You substitute a different quote from a different discussion, then claim that it is out of context. Well, duh. The problem was you referencing a quote I made of Finkelstein to illustrate that US Zionist Jews have worked to shape Israel into a Middle East Sparta because that helps them in their power seeking objectives. For gosh sake, don’t quote me out of context and then criticize the quote for being out of context!

          As for evidence of US intent in Lebanon and Syria, permit me to once again quote Wesley Clark on US imperial objectives in 2001, followed by two additional quotes which may put your mind to rest. Please note that two of the seven countries identified for regime change are Lebanon and Syria.

          “…in the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan…. (Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars, p. 130).
          link to globalresearch.ca

          “The U.S.-encouraged Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006.…” (Gareth Porter, CounterPunch, 2/1/11)

          “The aim of America and Israel is to spread chaos in Lebanon and to find excuses for foreign intervention.” (Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, Whitney, CounterPunch, 1/7-9/2011)

        • As for evidence of US intent in Lebanon and Syria, permit me to once again quote Wesley Clark on US imperial objectives in 2001

          why are you calling this “US imperial objectives” i know the clark speech, check out the byline:
          link to mondoweiss.net

          Clark: There was no national debate over the policy coup by the ‘hardnosed’

          Clark points some fingers, including at the neoconservative Project for the New American Century……

          9/11 happened. And what happened in 9/11 is we didn’t have a strategy, we didn’t have bipartisan agreement, we didn’t have American understanding of it and we had instead a policy coup in this country, a coup, a policy coup. Some hardnosed people took over the direction of American policy and they never bothered to inform the rest of us.

          …..He said he pulled up a piece of paper of his desk, he said, I just got this memo from the Secretary of Defense’s office, it says we are going to attack and destroy the governments in in seven countries in five years. We are going to start with Iraq and then we are going to move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran seven seven countries in five years…… These people took control of the policy in the United States and I realized, then it came back to me, a 1991 meeting I had with Paul Wolfowitz you know, in 2001 he was Deputy Secretary of Defense, but in 1991 he was the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, it’s the number three position of the Pentagon.

          And I had gone to see him when I was a one star general, I was commanding the National Training Centre.. I called and up there he was available, Scooter Libby came to the door, I met Scooter for the first time….It was like a nugget that you hold on to. This country was taken over by a group of people with a policy coup, Wolfowitz and Cheney and Rumsfeld and you could name a half dozen other collaborators from the Project for a New American Century. They wanted at us to destabilize the Middle East, turn it upside down, make it under our control.………All you have to do is read the the Weekly Standard and Bill Kristol and he blabber mouthed it out all over the world…. They could hardly wait to finish Iraq, so they could move in to Syria. It was like a lay down, oh our legions are going to go in there. This wasn’t what the American people voted George Bush in to office

          so what about clark and US imperial objectives? plllleeease. or is that the new code name for “neoconservative Project for the New American Century”

          more later.

        • What is this? Bait and switch? You substitute a different quote from a different discussion

          i got it directly off libra’s link. it wasn’t me substituting. i addressed your words. perhaps you do not think they apply in this situation, to back up nicks implication israel attacked at the behest of the US. just say so if this is not applicable:

          The empire gets a lot of benefit out of Israel being blamed for Middle East aggressions which benefit empire. Not Palestine, of course, but Lebanon and Syria for sure.

          but first, are you using empire the same way you used it for clark’s reference? as neoconservatives, “collaborators from the Project for the New American Century”

          because then i would not ask how Israel being blamed for Middle East aggressions benefits collaborators from the Project for the New American Century. i suppose, i would ask if you had any evidence being carried out at the behest of the US, as opposed to another hair brained sceme tocontroll foreing poling.

        • Keith says:

          ANNIE- “i got it directly off libra’s link.

          Yes, libra quoted me correctly discussing one aspect of Israel’s function for empire. Below that I changed topic by saying that “A militaristic Israel provides benefits for American Zionists as well.” This I followed with the Finkelstein quote. Not that tough to follow if you want to deal with what I actually said.

          You continue to insinuate that just because the US government officials doing a lot of the planning and influencing were neocons, that this indicates that the policy was foreign to the US government. You want to label it “neocon” policy, then pretend that it isn’t imperial policy. Nonsense. Obama, Wall Street, NATO, CENTCOM, the MIC, the State Department, etc, are all involved. None of them report to the neocons. You, and other Mondoweissers have the unfortunate tendency to label people (Israel Firsters), then to treat your label as some sort of proof. Proof by labeling.

          Yeah, there is somewhat of a power struggle going on here between what you call “realists” (different imperialists) and hyper-militarists. There is always some internal bickering concerning imperial policy. As for the benefits of seeming to “defend” poor little Israel against the forces of darkness versus spilling blood for oil, I would think that should be obvious.

          Rather than trying to put words in my mouth, you could simply refer to what I actually said in libras link. Ready? “Yes, our foreign policy is heavily biased in favor of Israel, however, all of this occurs within the context of domestic concentrations of power. The empire is still the empire, and it is not being run out of Tel Aviv. Furthermore, the “American” empire has morphed into the transnational corporate empire, guided by the financial corporations. Israel has nothing to do with neoliberal globalization, other than going along, or with the Trans Pacific Partnership, although the “Lobby” may be involved as a de facto imperial lobby.”

        • Keith says:

          ANNIE- “so what about clark and US imperial objectives? plllleeease. or is that the new code name for “neoconservative Project for the New American Century”

          Are you saying that the empire is not involved? That CENTCOM, Special Operations Forces, the CIA and NATO report to the neocons? What you see happening is official US policy regardless of who initiated it.

        • American says:

          @ keith

          oh please…rent a brain and get off your one note Chomsky US Imperialist train.
          Clarke also said and I quote that…. “New York Jews were behind the Iraq war drums”…for which he was called a anti semite…remember that?????
          And Tom Friedman said he could throw a rock from his office at the NYT and and hit the 25 people who were the major instigators of the Iraq war ….so who was he talking about ?…Donald Trump and Ralph Lauren and Martha Stewart?…..or who?

        • tree says:

          The problem was you referencing a quote I made of Finkelstein to illustrate that US Zionist Jews have worked to shape Israel into a Middle East Sparta because that helps them in their power seeking objectives.

          The problem I have with this sentence is that it ignores the history of Zionism and Israel. Israel was ALWAYS a Middle East Sparta, and was always intended to be so by Zionism’s founders long before “US Zionist Jews” had any say in the matter and long before the US was Israel’s benefactor and co-dependent facilitator. No one from outside had to “shape” Israel. Please read some early Israeli history. Israel, in the person of PM Ben-Gurion, was pitching aggressive wars against Lebanon and Syria to the French and British in the 1950′s, before their mutual 1956 Sinai Invasion, after which the US and Russia both strong armed a full withdrawal. Ben-Gurion wasn’t doing this crap to benefit anyone other than his own militaristic view of Spartan Israel, certainly not the US, nor “US Zionist Jews”, and not even the French and British, who thought his grand plan for Lebanon was over the top. This is but one example; there are many more.

          A question, though, are you arguing that “Empire” = “US Zionist Jews”? You’ve never gotten specific about who is “Empire”, but in your sentence above you seem to be equating it with your oft-used “Empire”, thus your phrase “their power seeking objectives”.

          My take would be different. US Zionist Jews have endorsed Israeli objectives both because they have an attachment to Israel, and because endorsing Israeli objectives is what adds to their own “power seeking objectives”. Going against Israel has proven to be one of the quickest ways in the US to lose political power.

        • NickJOCW says:

          The Israeli Defense Forces…carried out a second consecutive strike on targets within Syria’s territory. The aim was reportedly Fateh-110 missiles Israeli sources said were meant for Lebanon’s Hezbollah, considered as a terrorist group by Tel Aviv

          link to rt.com

          The US wants the Assad regime overthrown, they’ve said it often enough. Israel Bombing Syria serves that. ‘Israel has the right to defend itself’, but it isn’t defending itself, it’s aggressively attacking Syrian government military establishments, so far twice. Such actions are only possible with the US countenancing them, they broadly suit US purposes so they happen, if they didn’t, they wouldn’t. Does anyone really think Obama woke up exclaiming, “Israel has bombed Syria? Heavens above, who would have thought it!”

          … and, Samud, of course Israel has a stake and interest in attacking Syria but neither would normally be deemed justification for doing so.

          US and Israeli interests overlap for now but they do not coincide.

        • NickJOCW says:

          Annie, My reply seems to have been moderated away, but if you keep six hens and a cockerel you bear responsibility for disturbing neighbors at dawn.

          link to nytimes.com

          link to articles.latimes.com

        • Are you saying that the empire is not involved? That CENTCOM, Special Operations Forces, the CIA and NATO report to the neocons? What you see happening is official US policy regardless of who initiated it.

          interesting you didn’t answer my question keith. so what about clark and US imperial objectives? ……or is that the new code name for “neoconservative Project for the New American Century”.

          you answer me first. do you see a distinction between US imperial objectives and neoconservative Project for the New American Century or not. because i do not believe the terms are interchangeable. but there are certainly many people who do. flipping that to interrogate me implying i’m asserting “CENTCOM, Special Operations Forces, the CIA and NATO report to the neocons” isn’t a straight answer.

          You continue to insinuate that just because the US government officials doing a lot of the planning and influencing were neocons, that this indicates that the policy was foreign to the US government.

          maybe you should so a little source/copy pasting before accusing me of insinuation. i have no need to insinuate. i can speak for myself quite forthrightly.

          so cough it up. when clark speaks of Project for the New American Century does he seamlessly merge them w/ ‘US imperial objectives’. because that’s not what i hear when he talks about a ‘coup’.

        • nick, i just checked 3 back pages of trash and nothing of yours is in there. are you sure it’s not the comment that dropped to the base of the thread?

        • Keith says:

          AMERICAN- “oh please…rent a brain and get off your one note Chomsky US Imperialist train.”

          So you think that Noam and I lack the sophistication and depth of knowledge of a wikipedia scholar and internet know-it-all such as yourself? How much sophistication does it take to say the Lobby did it? Or to label folks as neocons and Israel Firsters and assert your labels as proof? Or to label someone as a Chomskyite instead of dealing with what is said? Funny, I avoid quoting Chomsky to avoid this sort of thing, however, you continue to attack your Chomsky straw man because labeling is all you know how to do.

          As for Wesley Clarke and those “New York Jews,” I assume that this is his crude way of referring to the neocons. Now ask yourself, ‘how did these neocons get such power and influence?’ They forced themselves into the Bush administration? They intimidated Cheney into going along with their ideas, threatened Rumsfeld to go along too? Or is it possible that they were brought on board to do what they did? And why would this not be considered American foreign policy? And why would the delayed implementation of these plans not be considered the implementation of imperial plans? The neocons are no longer in government, yet the continuity between the Bush and Obama administrations is difficult to miss. Yet, you and Annie seem to have this reluctance to acknowledge that it is Obama who is implementing this hyper-aggressive imperial strategy, or even to acknowledge that it is imperial strategy. The neocons may have initially proposed this, but it is the empire which has adopted and implemented the plan, and continues to do so, subject to further developments and constraints.

          As for Thomas Friedman, I don’t read him or the NYT, and don’t care what he says. It is a big mistake to place too much emphasis on the public statements of these propagandists and liars. You need to focus on the facts on the ground and imperial continuity, tempered by factoring in neoliberal globalization. Ignore the MSM BS and read radical critiques and analysis.

        • NickJOCW says:

          I don’t know, Annie, I have been trimming almond trees most of the day, and I live with only 1 MG of internet so my connections are erratic. My point, however, is that the US does not support Israel because of Zionism. Zionism serves US foreign policy precisely and only because Israel acts as a ME buffer against the Arab world. Rome used various Gallic tribes on its north eastern borders in a similar manner. It allowed them influence and even, clad in animal skins, seats among more savoury ambassadors at the Games. By extension, I believe the ‘dreaded’ lobby currently serves US foreign policy interests. That is why it is tolerated. The US aligns itself with allies entirely pragmatically, indeed some it can even war against and support concurrently, vide Al Qaeda in Yemen and Syria. The Palestinians are totally out of the picture, they are supported by no nation state. The appeal of their predicament is not rooted in policy or even, for that matter, religion; they are collateral victims in an hegemonic struggle and will only emerge from what Western liberals view as appalling oppression when the objectives of that struggle change. Which they will. What is at issue is US standing and influence. When that standing and influence are seriously under threat the policy will be reconsidered and then we will see change. As I have said before, Israel is not a Jewish/US problem nor even a US problem, it has become a problem for Western ‘civilisation’. Its policies undermine everything we try to cling to in this vale of tears, they undermine our moral and cultural evolution. Their days are numbered: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

        • Keith says:

          ANNIE- “interesting you didn’t answer my question keith. so what about clark and US imperial objectives?”

          My two comments answered your question quite adequately, however, permit me to rephrase to help you understand. Clark is complaining that the neocons have caused the US to adopt at least part of the Project for the New American Century agenda as official imperial strategy. He is laying the Iraq invasion at the neocon’s feet, which is partly true. Adopted, Annie, adopted. Yes, I am saying that these plans became imperial strategy. It is no mere coincidence that the seven countries in question have been targeted and were assaulted or are under assault. Obama has been as bad or worse than Bush in this regard. Yet, you cannot bring yourself to admit that this represents imperial strategy. How interesting. There is an empire, Annie, deal with it.

          Returning to those nasty neocons, according to Stephen Pelletiere, “The neo-cons are part of the ideological apparatus of the military/industrial complex, a very important part, to be sure; in many respect they are the main propagandists.” (p237, “Iraq and the International Oil System: Why America Went to War in the Gulf,” Stephen Pelletiere, 2001/2004) In other words, the neocons, strong pro-Israeli bias notwithstanding, are an integral part of the imperial intelligentsia. Further, the hegemonic goals of the “Project for the New American Century” are not substantially different from those outlined in Zbigniew Brzezinski’s “The Grand Chessboard,” although the emphasis and tactics differ. Essentially, the shared goal of the elites is empire, but with different flavors of imperialists.

          Finally, what is this nonsense about a “coup?” Clark is obviously using a figure of speech, or are you maintaining that the neocons installed Obama in a coup? The original neocons have been out of government for a while, time to move on and acknowledge imperial policy and responsibility.

        • I believe the ‘dreaded’ lobby currently serves US foreign policy interests. That is why it is tolerated. The US aligns itself with allies entirely pragmatically,

          well that’s really interesting nick because i fail to see why israel would even need a lobby if our interests were the same. i thought lobbies existed to influence congress to get their way. it seems rather odd we would need aipac writing legislation and pressuring congress to make all these obligatory gestures towards israel if those congress people would be voting that way anyway. hmm.

        • Clark is complaining that the neocons have caused the US to adopt at least part of the Project for the New American Century agenda as official imperial strategy. Adopted, Annie, adopted. Yes, I am saying that these plans became imperial strategy.

          ah, so adopting a neocon strategy as official imperial strategy = imperial strategy. thanks for the clarification.

          what is this nonsense about a “coup?” Clark is obviously using a figure of speech, or are you maintaining that the neocons installed Obama in a coup?

          you, and clark, were addressing 2001. and yes, i do think bush was installed as part of a coup. i think cheney ran the show. read hersh’s stovepiping.

          as for what’s happening today i see things in a more nuanced way than you’d like to portray. as i’ve tried to explain before,i don’t see neocon intervention as the exclusive or sole point of american intervention , but that fell on deaf ears.

          i have a degree of certainty if israel were running the show we would have probably invaded iran by now and syria for that matter. there’s a lot of pressure for obama to do that. not sure he’ll bite tho. i don’t happen to believe we have fully embraced neocon strategy as our “official imperial strategy”, not for lack of trying tho.

        • Keith says:

          TREE- “Israel was ALWAYS a Middle East Sparta….”

          How about if I alter the phraseology to read: ‘US Zionist Jews have worked to support Israel as a Middle East Sparta because that helps them in their power seeking objectives.’

          I don’t believe that US Zionist Jews initially advocated for a militarized Israel, but that changed after the 1967 war. Suddenly, Israel’s massive victory and the destruction of Nasser and Pan Arabism served to establish Zionist bona fides as imperial supporters, not Bolsheviki usurpers. A lot of closed doors opened up for Jewish upward mobility. Some time around then, a group of Jewish Trotskyists saw the light, became neocons and went to work for “Scoop” Jackson. They also developed a love for Israel not in evidence prior to 1967, also true for much of the Jewish intelligentsia. Prior to 1967, I think a negotiated peace based upon pre-1967 borders would have been acceptable to US Zionist Jews. Not now. I continue to believe that the center of Zionist power is the US, and that US Zionist Jews have an agenda for Israel which they believe benefits them.

        • I continue to believe that the center of Zionist power is the US, and that US Zionist Jews have an agenda for Israel

          why does it matter where their power center is? iow, if sheldon adelson’s power center is las vegas and not tel aviv, how does that impact anything? isn’t it his agenda that matters? especially if that agenda is enhancing the power of israel?

        • Dick Cheney and his gang duped George W. Bush, in my opinion. Played him for a fool, in fact. Catastrophe for the American people. Cheney was taken in by Ahmed Chalabi.

        • NickJOCW – - Israel is more a millstone around the neck of the American people, regarding US interests in the Middle East.

        • Sheldon Adelson is a power in Tel Aviv. And Las Vegas. And Washington.

          His mission: to have the Palestinians disappear.

        • eljay says:

          >> Dick Cheney and his gang duped George W. Bush, in my opinion. Played him for a fool, in fact.

          Dumbya was already a fool, so that must not have been hard work. :-)

        • Keith wrote: I don’t believe that US Zionist Jews initially advocated for a militarized Israel, but that changed after the 67 war.

          I’m not so sure. I am aware of the evidence presented by the fact of Commentary magazine really not giving much of a damn about Israel before 1967 and so it may be true of the elite and the intelligentsia of the American Jewish community. It also depends on what you mean by a militarized Israel. What did the average Jew think when he saw the picture of Nasser? (He was the only Arab leader to make it into the consciousness of most American Jews or most Americans for that matter at the time.) I would approximate that the average Jew felt that Nasser was a threat to Israel.

          But let’s go to the movie Exodus, or first the book, which was published in 1958. Did that book depict a militarized Israel? Well, not in the sense of keeping the occupied territory and not in the sense of heating up the desire for a reunited Jerusalem. But other than that Ari Ben Canaan represents an Israel that has a standing army and it is not Judah Magnes’s Israel, but much more Ben Gurion’s Israel and thus it is a militarized Israel. How many Jews read the book in 1958? How many reacted against its false depiction of the nakba? How many reacted and said, the path of Judah Magnes is superior to this path? Very few.

          Of course it may not have been read by most American Jews or most Americans, that’s why: now: Let’s look at the movie, with Paul Newman personifying the Hagana, personifying the new Israel. Who saw that movie and rejected the militarization personified by Paul Newman. True, as depicted Paul Newman/Ari Ben Canaan wanted to share the land with his Arab (pre “Palestinian” semantic problem) friend and it was only his uncle played by Opatoshu who represented the extremist Irgun type Akiva ben Canaan, whose extreme positions Paul Newman rejected and maybe Paul’s Newman’s Hagana is not considered militarized and Opatoshu’s is considered militarized, but that is the difference between militarized Labor party Zionism and militarized Likud party Zionism, a difference, but still militarized.

          But my point: what percentage of American Jews was not stirred by the theme song to Exodus? Sure most Jews did not think about it that much, but when presented with a movie and a hit song, they were forced to think about it and what percentage rejected it. (Sure Allen Ginsburg was more focused on being a beatnik and the average Jew was focused on getting ahead, so I’m not saying that Israel became the focus of the life of all American Jews. But what I am saying is:) Even though Podhoretz and crew did not really discover Israel until after 67, American Jews discovered Israel before 67 and that Israel which they felt a stirring for was in fact a militarized Israel.

        • seafoid says:

          That is mission ridiculous . The Jews didn’t ever disappear. Why would the Palestinians?
          The whole story is so absurd. Jews turn up after 2000 years and claim land*. Ethnically cleanse palestinians . Expect palestinians to crawl away and fade into history. Immediately. But 2000 year statute of limitations claimed for themselves.

          WTF.

          * Sephardim have some claim to be *real* Jews but forget about the other crowd.

        • tree says:

          Prior to 1967, I think a negotiated peace based upon pre-1967 borders would have been acceptable to US Zionist Jews. Not now. I continue to believe that the center of Zionist power is the US, and that US Zionist Jews have an agenda for Israel which they believe benefits them.

          Your first statement makes no sense, since “prior to 1967″, the only “borders” that existed were “pre-1967″. In any case, Israel itself clearly didn’t accept its pre-67 borders; otherwise it would not have captured and occupied the West Bank and Gaza. So what “US Zionist Jews” would have accepted was irrelevant. The power to determine what Israel did was located firmly within Israel, and that power remains there. I’d also posit that the change in what US Zionists will accept is merely a parroting of whatever the prevailing opinion is in Israel is, sufficiently watered down so as not to appear so utterly racist as the Israeli position truly is.

          And AIPAC’s origin began in 1948, with founders who had deep contact with Israel and Israeli intelligence. It wasn’t a creation of 1967, and it had nearly 20 years of continuing growth prior to then. It’s power emanates from its connection to Israel. Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t somewhat of a huge Ponzi scheme. Money from US coffers, given to Israel, probably finds its way back to AIPAC which doles it out to strong arm politicians into voting to send more money to Israel. AIPAC’s power in the US comes from its ability to steer massive campaign contributions to those that follow its desires, and steer it away from those who oppose it. It has nothing directly to do with US imperial interests, but rather is almost entirely built on USdomestic politics. It is built on the US’s corruption of politics by money, as well as on its fading ability to smear anyone who opposes it, or opposes Israel. It has showed no power to influence Israel in any significant way. Such a showing would be necessary in order to rationally claim that the “center of Zionist power is in the US”.

          As for “Israel’s massive victory and the destruction of Nasser and Pan Arabism served to establish Zionist bona fides as imperial supporters”, the 1967 war was not one that was urged on Israel by the US, and the US was aware prior to the war that Israel would win such a war, predicting that it would last less than one week, so Israel had nothing to prove. US intelligence forces in 1947-8 also predicted that Israel would most likely win the 1948 war.

          Israel had, since 1948, shown its propensity to do things contrary to the interests and wishes of the US, and well before 1967 it was apparent that any actions the US took against Israeli belligerence would generate domestic opposition. This happened in the 1950′s, and only Eisenhower’s stature and independence from domestic political parties prevented him from succumbing to that pressure. Israel’s power in the US was not dependent on kowtowing to US “Imperial” wishes, but came from its ability to game the domestic political system through US Zionist organizations. Again, those organizations have shown little to no ability to influence Israeli domestic politics and foreign policy and a highly significant ability to influence US foreign policy through gaming US DOMESTIC politics. You’ve got it exactly backwards.

        • Seafold – - And let’s remember the Jews did not have their own independent country, when some of them left Palestine two millenia ago.

        • Keith says:

          TREE- “Your first statement makes no sense, since “prior to 1967″, the only “borders” that existed were “pre-1967″.

          I wasn’t going to comment again on this thread, but how could I not respond to this bit of intellectual larceny? The bulk of my comment is contained in one paragraph which begins as follows: “I don’t believe that US Zionist Jews initially advocated for a militarized Israel, but that changed after the 1967 war.” I am, of course, referring to the pre-war “borders”, that is, the “green line.” Within the context of the paragraph, anyone with at least reasonable intelligence and constructive intent would understand the essence of what I was trying to say. I don’t doubt your intelligence, it is your intent which concerns me.

          I attempt to cover a lot of ground in just one paragraph, focusing on the impact of the 1967 war on American Jewish support for Zionism and for Israel. I think that the historical record is clear that following Israel’s victory in 1967, US support for Israel, and American Jewish support for Israel and Zionism increased by an order of magnitude. Israel, pursuing its own interests, but with US support, achieved a huge victory for both Israeli expansionist goals and US Middle East hegemony. I maintain that this new relationship significantly benefited American Jewish power-seeking, which, in turn, is a significant factor behind American Jewish fat-cat support for Israel and Zionism.

          Why you and other Mondoweissers tend to belittle US Zionist influence on Israel is a bit of a mystery. The notion that the people who effectively lobby on Israel’s behalf and fund settlements, think tanks, birthright tours and campaign funding have little or no influence on Israeli policy is illogical. Everyone talks about the power of the Israel Lobby, which is based upon organization and money. A lukewarm Lobby ain’t going to be effective. Their opinions carry weight. Additionally, if American Jewish money is so effective buying US support for Israel, why would it not be equally effective influencing Israeli politicians? Why make a big to-do about Jewish Democratic campaign financing and ignore the 96.8% campaign financing Netanyahu got from foreign sources? link to mondoweiss.net It is virtually inconceivable that this type of support would be provided unless those providing it approved of Israel’s expansionist, militaristic policies and actions. How much US Zionist funding is the Israeli peace camp getting? He who pays the piper doesn’t have to call the tune. Successful pipers share their patron’s taste in music and automatically play mutually pleasing music.

        • The truth is more complex, Eljay. Bush time and again asked Cheney et al., why the US should attack Iraq given the fact Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

        • eljay says:

          >> The truth is more complex, Eljay. Bush time and again asked Cheney et al., why the US should attack Iraq given the fact Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

          That’s the complexity? That Bush…
          - despite supposedly understanding that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and
          - despite, as President, having (virtually) unlimited access to all sorts of information from reliable and reputable sources that would have validated his understanding,
          …he was somehow razzle-dazzled into waging a brutal war of devastation and occupation on a sovereign state in the Middle East?

          I fail to see how this “complexity” disproves my assertion.

  12. NickJOCW – - Let’s remember that Obama in his first meeting with Netanyahu, demanded that Israel stop all growth of the colonies in the West Bank.
    This was a wise move by Obama. Obama was attacked for having made it. Viciously attacked. And forced to retreat.

    • kalithea says:

      Yes, he was “forced” to retreat at the whining of a foreign Lobby because he’s just the President of the United States — that’s all. I have no pity!

      • kalithea – - Obama cannot go against the wishes of too many powerful Democrats in the US Congress, and against the wishes of very large campaign donors, and do other things he wants to accomplish.

    • NickJOCW says:

      At Obama’s first meeting with Netanyahu, the cards were distributed somewhat differently. The Arab nations were fairly subdued, the Saudi royals had a few years left in them, US influence in the area was of a different order, and Obama himself was bushy-tailed. The circumstances are quite other today, the tail is drooping and Israel is more needed, not for its Zionism but for the overlapping of its regional interests with US purposes. I don’t seriously believe Obama has much idea how to respond to the evolving ME but I doubt it strikes him as a good time to ruffle Israeli feathers, particularly when the rest of the world draws closer to doing that anyway.

      • NickJOCW – - Obama in fact refuses to pressure Israel to stop growing the illegal colonies. Why? Israel lobby.

      • Israel is more needed, not for its Zionism but for the overlapping of its regional interests with US purposes.

        nah, we don’t know that. everyone doesn’t agree what ‘US interests’ are. and there’s a political interests is spreading the meme obama’s tail is ‘drooping’, as if more aggression will make him seem strong or something. and he’s already killing people all over the ME. but those who are into pressuring him would very much like to cement an idea he is waffling. it was all over the news sunday and it’s all over your nyt link today. but read the ending:

        Russia would almost certainly veto any effort to obtain United Nations Security Council authorization to take military action. So far, Mr. Obama has avoided seeking such authorization, and that is one reason that past or future use of chemical weapons could serve as a legal argument for conducting strikes, assuming they were limited to crippling Mr. Assad’s ability to drop those weapons on Syrian cities.

        So far among the most reluctant members of the administration to intervene heavily in Syria has been Mr. Obama himself….Mr. Obama’s legalistic parsing of whether his “red line” for intervention was crossed when evidence arose of a limited use of sarin gas has prompted many of his allies — led by Israeli officials — to question the credibility of his warnings.

        One administration official acknowledged late last week that the critique had “begun to sting,” but said that Mr. Obama was determined to go slowly, awaiting a definitive intelligence report on who was responsible for the presence of sarin before deciding on a next step.

        maybe he doesn’t want to (overtly) attack syria. why would you say Israel is ‘needed’, much less ‘more needed’. don’t you think the US has the ability to bomb syria if it wanted to? pro invasionists (including zios and their supporters/mcCain ilk and everyone else in congress) is trying to paint the US into a corner on syria. do you think that’s helpful? again, what does israel offer us here (re syria) we couldn’t do on our own? besides applying pressure to act harder and faster? how is that helpful?

  13. jon s says:

    An historical footnote: Herzl invents the American Zionist lobby:

    link to haaretz.com

    • tree says:

      Haaretz called it the Jewish Lobby. Another example of what can be said in Israel cannot be said in the US.

  14. Haaretz presumably is proud of the part Jews play in the Israel lobby, in the US.